The architecture of the new Women’s Recovery Center of Greater Cleveland is born of the organization’s mission to change women’s lives through physical, emotional, and economic empowerment. This transformative ethos forms the backbone of the approach to the project and its site, a neglected and unremarkable single-story commercial building located in a gritty urban neighborhood on Cleveland’s near west side.
The public space at the heart of the building serves, by turns, as a large conference room, an art gallery, and a fashion runway. The versatility of this main public space is exemplified by a long conference table which doubles as a catwalk, allowing women to model new clothes for their peers and build self-confidence.An ivy-covered metal mesh screen envelops the building, strategically veiling spaces for privacy while maintaining natural light for the interior.
The existing building is treated with a full height glass curtain wall and permeated by skylights in public spaces. The verdant texture of the ivy animates the fa\u00e7ade while the geometry folds to accommodate and shade entrances. This singular wrapping element extends seamlessly to the edges of the building\u2019s site in a gesture of embrace, welcoming clients to the Women's Center